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Americans willing to pay higher prices for safe-to-eat food

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Food safety poll

An independent research poll shows Americans surveyed would pay higher food prices to ensure what they eat is safe.

In a Pew-commissioned poll of 1,015 possible voters, 74 percent said they would be willing to pay one to three percent higher prices to help subsidize food safety measures that are now part of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.

Seventy percent of Americans polled felt food companies should pay a $1000 annual fee to support food safety activities conducted by the FDA.

One quarter of Americans polled worry about food bacteria

In the survey, conducted between April 28 and May 4, 2011, one quarter of Americans said they “worry a great deal” about consuming unsafe food contaminated with bacteria.

The FDA Food Modernization Act was passed in January, giving the government more power over food safety, including mandatory recalls and stronger food inspection guidelines; supported by 71 percent of those polled who feel the FDA has a vital role in making sure food is safe for consumption.

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Erik Olson, who directs food programs for the Pew Health Group says, "This poll reflects a strong belief that Americans are willing to pay more to ensure that the FDA is protecting the safety of the food they put on their family's dinner table."

Olson notes for too long the FDA lacked power and resources to protect America’s food supply.

Other findings from the poll show Americans want other countries to certify food exported to the U.S. meets with United States standards. Eighty six percent of Americans support frequent food facility inspections from the FDA.

The results show seventy four percent are willing to pay higher food prices to ensure what they eat is free from bacteria. Additional findings show 70 percent of those polled think food producers should contribute monetarily to support FDA food safety monitoring efforts and activity.

Image credit: Morgue file